Video Chat While Watching Netflix With ‘Scener’

I was thinking the other day, “Gosh, it sure has been forever since I watched Tron: Legacy.” And then a friend found Cyber Suits on sale in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and she said the same thing in our island chat. Our solution? Let’s watch Tron: Legacy together, using a Chrome browser extension to simulate the effect of us actually being in the same space at the same time.

Well, Scener technically won’t let me do that, since the gorgeous Tron sequel isn’t available on Netflix, and the extension only works with it. But I’m still going to install it and use it to host shared viewing nights. It’s just that good.

The extension is completely free to use, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it disappearing from the internet because one of the streaming companies is having a bad day. Installing it is as simple as installing any ol’ Chrome extension: Pull up the extension on the Chrome Web Store and get make a new account on Scener by supplying your name and email address.

From there, you’ll click on the Scener icon in Chrome’s toolbar, which launches your pop-up movie theatre in two parts—the main screening section and a sidebar:

This screen is a bit boring, because you have to create or join a “theatre”—your little viewing room with your friends—in order for the extension to do anything. Click through the “Create” prompts until you’re asked to select Netflix.

You’ll then have to log into said service on the larger “theatre” portion of Scener (the left side). Once done, you’ll get an invite link and a room code on the right-hand sidebar. Share either with your friends and pick something for everyone to watch. Once you start playing your movie or TV show, what you’re viewing will sync up pretty perfectly with your friends in your “theatre room.”

Feel free to add snarky commentary by yelling into your webcam mic or, if you prefer, typing furiously into Scener’s built-in chat room. If you’re tired of being the virtual projectionist, click on the remote button in the upper-left corner of your live image to pass it to someone else, who will then have full control over your viewing session:

That’s it. While Scener is hardly the only option out there for watching movies and videos at the same time as your friends, it’s a solid, no-fuss solution—and the chat box makes it slightly more appealing than Vemos for Netflix fans, even though that extension supports way more streaming sites.


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